U.A.E. Incident Raises Questions for Colleges That Open Campuses in Restrictive Countries

A New York University professor stopped on his way to conduct research in the United Arab Emirates said he wasn’t completely surprised when he learned, while trying to board a plane at Kennedy International Airport this week, that he’d been barred from entering the country.

He had, after all, publicly criticized the exploitation of migrant construction workers who helped build NYU’s new campus in Abu Dhabi,the emirates’ capital. He knew that wouldn’t sit well with local authorities who he said have kicked researchers out of the country for less.

But the decision to bar Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis, could have wider ramifications both for NYU and for other colleges that operate campuses in authoritarian countries, he and other higher-education experts said on Tuesday.

“Administrators at NYU have long insisted they have agreements with authorities to honor basic academic freedoms, but an incident like this is a clear violation of those principles,” Mr. Ross said in an interview withThe Chronicle. “It also illustrates how fragile or illusory it is to make such claims under the circumstances.” <Read more.>

Via Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education.